Oh gods Ami, precious, you KNOW she’s got her friends’ faces in her head right now.
So I think I get the emotional conflict being set up here. Viluy is a person who only respects intelligence and achievement, things that can be measured. Test scores, academic standing, school achievements.
But for Ami, those are just ways to track growth, and this is an interesting and important distinction that I don’t think I’ve really thought about for her before.
Ami knows how smart she is, but doesn’t for a moment believe that makes her superior. It’s simply part of who she is and, as she’s come to learn, only one very SMALL part. Minako’s comment from earlier, interestingly enough, didn’t even faze Ami. She didn’t react to it at all. She, too, gets the difference implied in what Minako said. That ISN’T her, at least not anymore.
She’s fixated on grades and test scores so much this season (and the previous, to be fair), but only in so much as they’re tools, they’re necessities, (Or, at minimum, they’re the rules.) What Ami TRULY craves is LEARNING. She’s passionate about knowledge and her curiosity is insatiable.
That’s what she wants for her friends, too. Ami knows that Usagi and Minako aren’t interested in school. She knows that Mako tries but won’t ever be better than average. She knows Rei works hard but by necessity, not through any great desire. And Ami wants MORE for them than that. She wants to infect them all with her drive and passion to know things. And she can’t bear the idea of a teacher who doesn’t want that too. She can’t accept that in Viluy’s world, students like Usagi, who are only good at naps and lunch, will be thrown aside and forgotten.
That’s such a marvelous character trait, and not one that we get to see very often in characters in the “smart” archetype. She’s so intelligent that it’s difficult sometimes to see past the fact that Ami is the brains, but if you never look closer you never get to see that it’s her love and compassion that truly make Ami so exceptional.